From Berlin, we quickly reach Dresden. Down the autobahn, past Intershop memories (the East Germans among us probably know what is meant: Raststätte Freienhufen). A short stop at Senftenberger See for a Vita-Cola (er, well...) and immediately we're off to Elbflorenz.
We notice that Gerd is still in recovery mode, so the spontaneous visit to the Semper Opera falls flat. Okay, not only because of Gerd's recovery process, but also because of the choice of music. There's nothing for us today, tomorrow Figaro would be more to our musical liking. So tomorrow we'll try our luck with last-minute tickets.
So we stroll leisurely through summer-evening Dresden. Let the sun go down in peace, watch the balloons take off and briefly remember the balloon rides in Cappadocia. Quite quickly and without being asked, Gerd says: "Well, I'm not getting into a balloon like that any more! Well, that's settled then!
Instead of dining in the "Restaurant Felix", we have a hearty meal on the banks of the Elbe. Sauerkraut, bratwurst, mashed potatoes for Gerd, and for me by far the best tomato soup I've ever had. And it's immediately clear: we're going here again, tomorrow!
But as it is with plans: they can change. Actually, we should know that we can't plan. In the evening we get an invitation for the next day to visit a friend who has recently moved to Dresden. Our visit drags on into the afternoon and it is not until half past three that we are back in our house on wheels.
What now? Do we stay in Dresden or do we prefer to drive to Pillnitz Palace, along the Elbe in the direction of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, for a leisurely slice of cake? After a split second it's clear: Pillnitz Palace and East German cake! I briefly pine for Figaro, but we're both drawn to the East, so let's go!
The cake doesn't quite work out as planned (when will we finally delete the word from our vocabulary?). Shortly before we reach the car park we are approached by a wrong-way driver. What to do? Gerd slows down and comes to a stop, but if the wrong-way driver doesn't slow down, we're in for a bang! On our right there's a kerb and a wall, on the left there's traffic on the opposite lane.
Shit, it's gonna be close!
Our guardian angels (and there seem to be many of them) do a great job, because the oncoming car starts to lurch a bit, slams into the side of a tree and rivets a road sign. At the next tree (a rather small one, but it holds like a big one!) the car is slowed down, it bangs, it comes to a stop and we stand two metres away and are stunned for a moment.
I quickly jump out to check on the driver. But he gets out on his own, looks very confused and says he must have fallen asleep. Oh great! Anyway, he and the two passengers are fine for the time being, we give them something to drink while other witnesses call the police, ambulance and fire brigade.
This is not how we had imagined the summer evening in Pillnitz. But the good news: everyone is well, more or less. Fender benders can be repaired and we are infinitely grateful to the trees for their "guiding and braking work".
Trembling and somehow still completely off track (mentally, mind you) we reach our cake shortly before closing time, which we have to enjoy at "Café Felix", however. A short walk around Pillnitz Palace helps us to get our thoughts in order and to realise once again what is important in life: health and health again. Oh yes, and health!
Phew, that's enough for us as an experience for today. Thank you dear Maren for the morning until the afternoon, thank you dear guardian angels for your "guidance" and thank you to the helpers on site who did a really good, fast and professional job! And thank you Gerd for being able to brake so quickly. Because just a few metres further on... Oh, let's not go there!
Merci for "travelling with us
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10 November 2023 - Start 7 pm, door opening 6:45 pm
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Road trip realities
How we manage to live in the van
Leben pur! Unterwegs. Whether at icy -30 °C in the Lapland winter or in the sand of the Tunisian desert, whether in the left-hand traffic of England or along picturesque dream coasts of Europe. Whether in the hot summer of Turkey or in the "interesting" traffic of Georgia.
We report on frozen sliding doors, living together on 9.5 square metres, the inevitable sand in the desert and unforgettable ferry trips. We look at how we make do with little and still have way too much.